Paarl - old and new - on display at Cultivaria

The annual celebration of theatre, music, dance and food provides an ideal opportunity for visitors to experience the town’s unique history and architecture, its warm hospitality and friendly people.  And, says Pam Golding Properties’ area manager for Paarl, Surina du Toit, it’s also an ideal time to explore the town’s property offering.

“Paarl has a very homogeneous blend of old and new,” says du Toit, “with historic homes dating back several centuries rubbing shoulders with modern luxury residences.  Recent developments such as the popular lifestyle and golf estates around the town have been carried out sympathetically to its history and magnificent natural setting.  The result is that the unique historic character of the town has not been destroyed, while at the same time there is more choice for buyers who prefer more modern convenience and luxury in their home.  Even on the so-called ‘Golden Mile’ in the very heart of the historic town centre, one finds old and new architecture existing in harmony.  What all these properties have in common is their placement within a warm, close-knit community, surrounded by some of the most beautiful mountain scenery the Winelands have to offer, and with access to superb schools, medical care and recreational facilities.”

Like all other areas, Paarl has felt the impact of the global financial crisis and resulting slump in the property market.  But du Toit says sales have remained steady, with well-priced homes not staying on the market for long.  “At present there is highest demand for homes priced below R2 million, both in the town itself and in the surrounding secure estates,” she says.  “Our buyers include a number of Capetonians relocating to the Boland, particularly those working in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town, which are just 25 minutes’ drive away.  We are also receiving regular enquiries from Johannesburg and Pretoria residents wishing to relocate their families to the Cape, to a more wholesome and secure environment.  With the airport being under half an hour’s drive from the town, this is an ideal place for busy businesspeople to set up their primary residence and simply commute to other provinces.”

Pricing in Paarl currently starts from around R500 000, which will secure a small apartment in the town centre.  Mid-level family homes are priced between R1 million and R2 million, while larger and more luxurious residences occupying larger grounds, can be purchased for closer to R4 million.

Historic homes can fetch even more – although they seldom come onto the market. Within the past 18 months, for example, PGP has sold a classic thatched Cape Dutch home set in park-like grounds of over 3000sqm for R4.15 million, as well as an elegant Victorian homestead for R3.8 million.  

PGP’s MD for the Boland and Overberg regions, Annien Borg, says historic homes are always in demand.  “The price such homes can fetch when they do become available for sale, depends on their size and location, as well as their condition,” she says.  

“There is demand for both renovated and un-renovated historic properties, as some buyers prefer to move into a fully modernised home, while others enjoy the challenge of carrying out the renovation work themselves.  These properties also tend to have a lot of potential for use in the commercial sector, as many of them are ideal for use as guesthouses, restaurants or art galleries.”

There is also sustained demand for homes located within secure developments such as the popular Boschenmeer, Val de Vie and Pearl Valley.  Prices here can range from around R700 000 for a 600sqm plot, to over R9 million for upmarket homes with numerous luxury features and finishes.

While demand for large commercial farms is slower in the current market, du Toit says there is still interest in lifestyle farms, including both smallholdings and smaller agricultural units.  “One can generally acquire a vacant smallholding from around R1.6 million,” she says, “going up to R15 million for somewhat larger farms. Those with historic homesteads, magnificent oak trees and mountain views, are particularly sought-after.”

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